The Ashes: Lewis says Robinson must improve fitness

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England seamer Ollie Robinson
England seamer Ollie Robinson

England bowling coach Jon Lewis says Ollie Robinson must improve his fitness after the seamer suffered a back injury on day of the final Ashes Test in Hobart.

Robinson missed the fourth test in Sydney with a shoulder injury, but he made an immediate impact after being recalled at Blundstone Arena, removing both David Warner and Steve Smith for nought as England decimated Australia's top-order during a blistering start.

However, after reducing the hosts to 12-3, England were left frustrated as Travis Head's 101 led an Australian fightback, with Robinson only able to bowl eight overs.

Speaking at the close of play with Australia 241-6, Lewis stated that Robinson must give himself a better chance of staying injury-free.

"It’s definitely something to work on," Lewis responded when asked about Robinson's conditioning. "It’s something he needs to improve. He’s got a record of playing a lot of games in county cricket. 

"But international cricket is a higher intensity, and you play all year round. So he’s got to get used to understanding what it takes to be a full-time, year-round international cricketer.

"Is it a concern? It’s one of the things he really needs to work on. He’s shown over the course of the English summer, and this series so far, that he can put back-to-back games together. But there’s definitely areas he needs to work on for sure.

"It’s something he will need to do if he’s going to perform consistently over a long period of time, he’ll need to be a fitter bowler, 100 per cent. We've had those conversations with him and been pretty frank with him, and now it's up to him to go and do the work."

Robinson returned to bowl a single over after dinner, but at speeds down 10mph on his average, and Lewis unfavourably compared his lack of availability to that of his Australian counterparts.

"One thing we have to credit their team with is that you look at their three main seamers, they have generally managed to keep themselves fit and available and for the last three years," Lewis said.

"The way they have managed themselves physically is a lesson for us. One thing I would say is that the amount of cricket they play in comparison with us is slightly different. 

"But for young guys coming into this team, into Test cricket and for county players, there are serious lessons to be learned from these top performers who are fit and ready to play."

England will be hoping Robinson's pain eases as they strive to end a miserable series, which they trail 3-0, on a positive note.

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